A plaintiff’s medical expert witness had to abruptly stop his testimony in order to provide medical aid to a juror that collapsed during a trial. As a result, the case was stopped midtrial with the granting of the pharmaceutical company’s motion for nonsuit.
The medical expert and physician came off the witness stand and, with a nurse employed by the pharmaceutical company, attended to the juror until emergency medical services were able to take the juror to the hospital.
This unusual incident was then the basis for a post-trial motion filed by the plaintiff. He challenged the judge’s decision to subsequently grant a mistrial. The motion sought a new trial on liability.
According to the five-page post-trial motion filed by the plaintiff’s attorney, the judge presiding over the trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas should’ve allowed the parties to ask jurors whether they would be prejudiced by the incident before deciding to grant the mistrial.
The motion stated that the trial court erred and abused its discretion in granting a mistrial without conducting voir dire of the jury to see if they were prejudiced by the expert’s actions, arguing that the event may have hindered the jury’s ability to be objective about the doctor’s testimony.
This is just one of thousands of lawsuits in a class action over the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The last two actions that have gone to trial ended with judges throwing out the claims before they reached the jury. In one, the judge found that this same medical expert’s testimony was legally insufficient to prove causation in the case.
However, another claim that was tried last July ended with a $70 million jury award.
The most recent Risperdal trial with the juror who required medical attention began mid-March. A mistrial was granted March 27th. Three days later, a new jury was selected to hear the case. On April 17th, the judge granted pharmaceutical company’s motion for nonsuit after it argued that the plaintiff failed to adequately support his claims. The pharmaceutical company argued that the plaintiff—who claimed the defendant failed to warn about the risk of developing gynecomastia from taking Risperdal—didn’t provide enough evidence to support his claims, and the court agreed.